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We caught up with Andy Yates - father, coffee lover, tattoo collector and owner of Cult Coffee. To discuss his loves in life and to find out the most painful place Andy's been tickled by the tattoo gun!

So Andy when did tattooing come into your life?

I got my first tattoo at 18, was only a small one but I guess thats how they all start, my Dad always had tattoos so always liked them. Then at 25 i started with getting my arms covered, then on to my chest/torso, and so on. I’ve been full on getting tattooed for just over 11 years now.

We love the concept of Cult Coffee and Tattoos, Where did this idea come from?

I always wanted to have my own little shop, I was a heating engineer for 14 years but wanted something new. I was planning to open just a coffee shop at first, but the shop I went for originally fell through and I kind of put the idea on the back burner, but then the shop we have now became available and my friend (who owns a tattoo studio) asked if I fancied opening a coffee shop with a private tattoo studio, and that is how Cult was born.

What love came first, Coffee or Tattoos?

My love for tattoos came way before coffee, always loved the smell of coffee but never a massive fan. I actually had my first flat white at the London Tattoo Convention and that is where I fell in love and started to find a passion for it.

What is the tattoo scene like in the South - End? 

The tattoo scene down here is massive, we have plenty of tattoo studios with so many amazing artists.

Having your head tattooed and with the amount of coverage you’ve collected - have you ever been treated differently for the way you look?

I don’t feel like I have been treated any different, I mean now with having my head tattooed I get a lot more attention with people coming up to me and asking about it, which doesn’t both me at all I always knew this would happen, just sometimes can be a pain in the arse if I’m out and people have had a few too many to drink, for some reason everyone thinks they can touch you because you have tattoos. But I do think tattoos are pretty much the norm now with majority of people having them, don’t get me wrong you still get the odd person giving you a funny look.

Most painful place you've been tattooed?

I would say my palm has got to be the most painful, that was a different level of pain.

Any tattoo plans for the next few months - dream artist to get tattooed by?

Got nothing booked in at the minute, but have plans to hopefully get my leg covered, or at least started in the summer, pretty much the only space I have left. Sneaky Mitch was always a dream artist I wanted to get tattooed by and thankfully he done the beautiful work on my head. All the guys I have been tattooed by i have always been massive fans of their work so to be tattooed by them and to wear their art is amazing.

"If you ever fancy a little visit to Leigh on Sea make sure you pop into Cult (you will be greeted by my ugly mug) say hi, grab a banging coffee and cake, and who knows you may even walk away with a tattoo. You will not regret making the trip 😋 Follow the shop @cultcoffeeandtattoos to keep up to date with everything we have going on and for all information on how to book in with one of our amazing artists.”

 Photography by: Ky Wilson (@kycutwilson)